crack of dawn

the crack of dawn

The moment at which the sun first rises. It's a long drive, so we'll have to leave at the crack of dawn if we want to get there on time. I've been up since the crack of dawn repairing the fences that blew down in the storm.
See also: crack, dawn, of

crack of dawn

Very early morning, daybreak. For example, I got up at the crack of dawn. The crack in this term alludes either to the suddenness of sunrise or to the small wedge of light appearing as the sun rises over the horizon. Originally the term was usually put as crack of day. [Late 1800s]
See also: crack, dawn, of

crack of dawn, (at) the

Early in the morning. The origin of this expression is uncertain. One writer suggests that “crack” is derived from the ancient meaning of a sudden loud noise (since the word comes from Old English cracian, “to resound”), because the sun comes up suddenly. Rudyard Kipling used similar imagery in his poem “Mandalay,” where “the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ’crost the Bay.” On the other hand, “crack” may refer to a small space or opening—that is, the wedge of light that appears as the sun rises over the horizon. Whichever, the phrase originated in America in the late nineteenth century. It may already have been a cliché when W. Somerset Maugham wrote (Catalina, 1948), “He had slipped away at the crack of dawn.”
See also: crack, of
References in periodicals archive ?
Marine might have been underdogs, the coaches may have had to leave at the crack of dawn for the 3pm kick-off, and it might have been just a fortnight after Christmas, but more than 150 intrepid supporters made the long journey south.
THE worker is up at the crack of dawn, Optimistic from the day he was born.
But he has a habit of waking us up at the crack of dawn and demands his breakfast.
According to local sources, four Palestinian civilians were rushed to the Khalil Suleiman public hospital in Jenin to be urgently treated for the wounds and bruises they sustained after they were heavily beaten by the Israeli troops at the crack of dawn, PIC reported.
The beleaguered staff can now be seen driving 'round the block' as many as 10 times looking for a space if they show up any later than the crack of dawn.
The challenge starts at the crack of dawn, beginning with mountain biking in the Grizedale Forest before taking to the water for a three-mile kayak on Lake Coniston.
The pair will be tending to their flock at the crack of dawn then attempting to help Hurlford cause an upset.
As well as getting up at the crack of dawn to co-host Good Morning Britain, he also finds time to front this quiz show.
THE QUEEN'S Baton relay was due to reach the foothills of Snowdon at the crack of dawn today.
As captured by Gulf News photographers Ahmed Ramzan and Clint Egbert, young and old made their presence at the walkathon at the crack of dawn to lend their support for the cause.
The report added that the American golfer is renowned for being up at the crack of dawn to play his practice rounds in the world's oldest major and he teed off at the tenth hole 20 minutes before the official time.
Manufacturers like Crack of Dawn and Stick It make great stake out poles.
The singer, 26, appeared on Lorraine at the crack of dawn (or 8.
Although thunderstorms threatened to derail the long-anticipated journey from the Long Island City Boathouse to Governor's Island and back, finally the decision was made to proceed the next morning, July 8, slightly later than the crack of dawn in order to take advantage of southerly flowing currents.
It happened three years ago, with my mum and dad having to drive to Manchester Airport at the crack of dawn to deliver the most vital piece of kit required for the journey to Perpignan.